Former Tory chair tells Muslims to vote for party - despite admitting it’s Islamophobic

Former Tory party chair Baroness Warsi

Former Tory party chair Baroness Warsi - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi is encouraging Muslim voters to vote Conservative, despite admitting there is a 'serious, substantial and widespread' issue with Islamophobia in the Conservative party.

Warsi also refused to leave Conservative party, despite the "institutional problem with Islamophobia within the party".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Emma Barnett Show, Warsi was asked: "You are the former chair of the Conservative Party, we have a general election in a matter of days, is the Conservative Party institutionally Islamophobic?"

When Warsi replied 'yes', Barnett asked how she can then intend to remain a member of the party.

"I wish to stay and make a difference," Warsi said.

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"I have never seen many of my colleagues take an interest in Islamophobia. As women we have consistently heard when we raise the issue of sexism - oh we're too emotional, hysterical and sensitive - we fight that back by saying we are at the receiving end of this.

"If any of my colleagues, male female or whatever racial background they come from, are genuinely interested in understanding the extent of the issue in the party I'm more than happy to sit down with them."

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Barnett asked Warsi three times: "Has Boris Johnson chosen to do that?

"You've talked about colleagues who haven't bothered to talk to you or engage on this, has Boris Johnson?"

Warsi eventually admitted the prime minister has never spoken with her about this. She added Boris Johnson "had the opportunity" to and didn't take the offer.

"So Boris Johnson hasn't agree to a meeting? So would it be safe to say with 100 days in office under his belt he hasn't prioritised the issue of Islamophobia in his party?"

Warsi not only agreed, but added she was comfortable saying to British people, including Muslims, that they could vote for the party.

"I've had this criticism from people who say how can you stay in the party when it is Islamophobic, and I have Jewish colleagues in the Labour Party who have received that criticism. But these are judgements we as politicians have to take."

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